I rarely get sick and have no known disease. I’m fit as a fiddle for an aging male. I jog four times a week and have strong vital signs (blood pressure is 120/70). I have no family history of heart disease. Besides complying with adult screening recommendations and vaccines, I only see a doctor when I have a persistent cold or sore throat.  I fear going to a doctor because ...

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by Mona Mangat, MD "We take our children to pediatricians for medical care — not moral judgment, not privacy intrusions." This quote by an NRA lobbyist troubles me. The statement reveals degradation in a sacred relationship – the physician-patient relationship. This sentiment was prompted by a Florida pediatrician that refused to continue seeing a child after the parents refused to answer whether they kept firearms in the home. Governor ...

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Though there are few subjects as immediate to my experience as that described in Gardiner Harris's article in The New York Times, "More Doctors Say No to Endless Workdays,"  perhaps the truest indication of my opinion on the matter may be the fact that, upon first glance at the headline, I didn't feel much need to read the rest of the article.  More doctors say no to endless ...

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The New York Times recently published an opinion editorial entitled "Squandering Medicare’s Money"in which Dr. Rita Redberg, professor of cardiology at UCSF, proposes that much of Medicare’s financial deficit could be reduced if the government did not spend "a fortune each year on procedures that have no proven benefit." To support her contention, Redberg cites several studies which indicate that many routinely performed tests and treatments ...

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My patient, whom I’ll call Jane, had a neurologic disorder that prevented her from emptying her bladder properly. She required a permanent urinary foley catheter to help her urinate. Jane landed back at the hospital with yet another urinary tract infection – her third in one month. She had pus draining from her catheter and was infected with a multi-drug resistant strain of the bacteria Proteus. Our lab ran tests (sensitivities) ...

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This past summer, I had a few parents complain to me about our staff. The parents wanted to let me know that they were treated nicely by the staff, but they had noticed things from the employees that they didn’t appreciate. They mentioned that the staff seemed annoyed and irritated, even bored at times and a bit disingenuous. I wanted to investigate the issue before I reprimanded the staff. Things ...

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MRI overuse and misuse really make me angry. Did you know that a growing number of doctors don’t even read the tests themselves? Another shocking aspect of this industry is that some doctors will order an MRI because it’s quicker than doing a full examination. Rushing to an MRI can oftentimes erase clinical correlation, that is, connecting the dots between pain and what the MRI shows. MRI is unnecessarily overused. In ...

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I like to poke fun at real estate agents (please, forgive me if you are one, it is all in good fun). My experience has been that, despite what I describe as my preferences, they always end up showing me what they have, even if it does not bear the remotest resemblance to what I need. This holds true for politicians, with this cardinal rule: always answer the question you want ...

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Editor's note: This post was originally written this past winter. Boston had another blizzard today. I was really worried about this one. It was supposed to snow hard, about three inches an hour from 3 a.m. to 12 p.m. with poor visibility, impassable roads, etc. I've driven home in snow like that, and I find it terrifying. Your car won't do what you want it to, and worse, other people can't ...

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As Kevin Pho pointed out in his piece, "How malpractice hurts doctors and their future patients," physicians who have been through trial are often never quite the same. Physicians who have been sued in medical malpractice case are often referred to as the "Second Victim," a term that says it all.   When a mistake is made and a patient is injured, the physician also suffers, often in silence and ...

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